Is Animation a Good Major? [2024 Guide]

By Joanna Smykowski
Edited by Briana Sukert
Updated on April 13, 2024
Edited by Briana Sukert
Ready to start your journey?
Is animation a good major? Discover the job prospects, career paths, and earning potential for animation graduates in this comprehensive guide.

Is animation a good major?

Is Animation a Good Major

If you have an artistic inclination, you might wonder what a major in animation entails and what you can do with it afterward.

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A degree in computer animation may open doors to job opportunities in a variety of industries. If you have a passion for art and creativity, you may want to read on to see if animation could be the right major for you.

Is Animation a Good Major?

Animation Artists working in the office

Yes, animation is a good major for many undergraduate students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job outlook for artists and animators is set to grow at 4% over the next 10 years, as fast as the average for all occupations.

Common animation careers include art director, animator, craft or fine artist, graphic designer, and web developer. Careers in animation may be found in advertising, television, gaming, or film, along with a variety of other industries.

The intersection of art and technology in animation gives another layer to the degree. You may not only create but also use software to express ideas and information. You may use the animation skills that you develop in your bachelors program to pursue a variety of career paths.

Animation Major Curriculum

Animation Major student studying online

As an animation major, there are a variety of courses that you may take as you work towards your degree. Courses in this major cover art, technology, drawing, history, and more. Some of the courses you take may include the following:

  • History of Animation
  • Digital Tools for Animation
  • Foundations of Studio and Design
  • Drawing
  • Multimedia Storytelling
  • The Principles of Animation
  • Motion Graphics
  • Computer Animation
  • Storyboarding
  • Character Set and Design

The courses in animation degree programs can help cultivate your animation skills and prepare you for your career.

5 Things You Can Do with an Animation Degree

A degree in animation may open doors to various career paths. Here are some of the top five things you can do with an animation degree.

1. Animation Artist

Animation Artists working together on a project

An animation artist creates the animation for a company, adding movement into still art. As an animation artist, you may work as a character animator in television and film. These types of animators create characters that come to life for their audience to invest in.

You may also work as an animator in advertising, creating animations for commercials or promotions. You may create digital animation advertising campaigns and branding through your animations. You may also work in mobile game development, creating characters and worlds for people to game through.

2. Graphic Designer

Graphic Designers working together

Graphic designers create visual concepts to communicate ideas and inform customers. They can do this either by hand or on the computer.

As a graphic designer, you may create logos, advertisements, webpages for companies, and much more. Graphic designers are visual storytellers, telling the story of a brand. Graphic design is the intersection of art, technology, customer service, and marketing.

3. Desktop Publisher

Desktop Publisher working on her computer

Desktop publishers work with computers and web publishing. They design page layouts for companies, using computer software to do so.

Desktop publishers create visual displays of information, and the documents they make are used for both commercial and electronic distribution. As a desktop publisher, you may work with PDFs, the internet, email newsletters, electronic books, and much more.

4. Film and Video Editor and Camera Operator

Film Directors working

Film and video editors and camera operators work mostly in television and film. They are in charge of a variety of tasks that go into making a movie, show, or even commercial.

Film and video editors and camera operators shoot and record motion pictures, news, television shows, sporting events, and documentaries. Once they have the digital footage, they organize it and do any video editing necessary.

5. Web Developer

Web developers are in charge of creating and maintaining websites. As a web developer, you may work full-time for a company or contract out your services to help organizations get started or update their sites.

You may create content for a site, make sure it is visually appealing, and also oversee its technical aspects, such as performance.

Animation Careers

Animation Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are many creative career paths that you may follow once you graduate with an animation degree.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Art Directors $97,270
Multimedia Artists and Animators, Motion Picture and Video Industries $92,250
Multimedia Artists and Animators, Software Publishers $82,330
Web Developers $77,200
Multimedia Artists and Animators, Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services $73,820
Multimedia Artists and Animators, Computer Systems Design and Related Services $69,200
Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators $61,900
Graphic Designers $53,380
Craft and Fine Artists $49,120
Desktop Publishers $47,560

For some of these careers, only an associate’s degree is necessary. Others may require further education or certification past a bachelor’s degree in animation. It’s helpful to look into the field of work that interests you to see what the standard educational requirements are for that career.

How to Know If a Degree in Animation Is Right for You

Graphic Designers working together

If you are artistic and enjoy creating, you may consider a major in animation. Animation includes technology as well, and there are even specific computer animation degree programs.

An animation degree can help you learn all of the ins and outs of the animation process and programs. If bringing your art to life excites you, you may enjoy studying animation.

What Is Animation?

Animation is the process of getting art to move, giving it life. It is the method of manipulating figures so that they appear as if they are moving images. This simulation of movement is achieved by taking photos or drawings of the subject successively.

Animation takes information about our eyes and how we retain images into consideration. The length of time an image is retained is one tenth of a second. So, animators put multiple images in fast succession so that the brain blends all of them into perceived movement.

What Degree Do You Need to Be an Animator?

Most employers require animators to have a bachelors degree. You can major in animation, and there are also alternative majors you can pursue if they better meet your animation interests and career goals. For example, you may earn a degree in computer graphics, fine arts, or a related field.

Animation is a competitive field, so it may be strategic to scout out your dream career and then choose the major or concentration that is best tailored to your goal. Having the necessary specialized skills for the job you want to pursue after graduation could help give you an edge up on the competition.

Is Animation a Good Career?

Film Director with staff during a shoot

If you are passionate about creating art, then animation might be a career path for you to explore. There are various job opportunities available for animators. The demand for multimedia artists and animators is projected to grow at 4% for the next ten years (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

While being an animator may lead to video game and film animation, your degree can also allow you to branch outside of that field. For example, you may animate for companies’ websites or promotional materials.

With a bachelors in animation, you may also pursue work in related fields, such as graphic design. With experience, you may pursue a position as an art director.

How Much Do Animators Make?

Animators in a meeting

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for multimedia artists and animators is $77,700 per year.

As an animator, there is a range of salaries depending on the company that you work for. Big profit companies may have higher salaries than smaller companies. Animators can make from $42,390 to more than $142,750 per year.

The highest paying industries include motion picture and video industries ($92,250 average salary) as well as software publishers ($82,330). Animators may also work in computer systems design services ($69,200) and in advertising and public relations services ($73,820).

In some cases, having a masters degree may give you more earning potential, depending on where you work. A bachelors, though, is the required degree for most animator positions.

Where Do Animators Work?

Animator working at home

Animators can work in a variety of industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 56% of multimedia artists and animators are self-employed.

Many animators may work as freelancers or contract workers, taking on various projects for different clients. The top companies to work for are in television, film, and gaming. This is where many of the animation jobs are with some of the most lucrative salaries.

Animators are also needed in the fields of advertising and public relations. They might work in advertising firms and mobile companies, either as contract workers or in-house staff. Depending on the position and employer, an animator might be able to work remotely.

What Can You Do with a Degree in Animation?

With a degree in animation, you may work in several different industries. Television and film are some of the most popular and commonly thought of industries when it comes to animation, but you may work in gaming and advertising as well.

With an animation degree, you may also pursue work as a web developer or a graphic designer. With experience, you may also obtain the lucrative position of an art director.

Is a Degree in Animation Worth It?

Graphic Designers collaborating on a project

Yes, an animation degree is worth it for many students. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting 4% job growth for artists and animators over the next 10 years.

Common animation careers include art director, animation artist, craft or fine artist, graphic designer, and web developer. Getting a bachelors degree in animation may allow you to work in a creative field with a variety of career options.

Getting Your Bachelor’s Degree in Animation Online

Getting Your Bachelor’s Degree in Animation Online

There are many different career paths with high earning potential that you may pursue with a bachelor’s degree in animation.

You may earn accredited online multimedia degrees or animation degrees online as well. Online programs allow you to take courses from the comfort of your own home and to decide your own timing for your course schedule. If you’re interested in majoring in animation, you can get started by looking into online animation degree programs from accredited universities.

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